CASTLE ROCK – Today, a Douglas County judge sentenced defendant Ryan Cole Stone to 160 years in the Department of Corrections for a 2014 high-speed vehicle pursuit that required twelve law enforcement agencies to respond and two district attorney’s offices to prosecute (2014CR154 – Douglas).
In the early morning of March 12, 2014, the defendant approached members of the Longmont Fire Department, who had their engine parked at 14th Avenue and Sherri Mar Street in Longmont. The defendant initially asked for a ride to a homeless shelter but mid-route, asked to be dropped off at the Bradley Gas Station located at 1700 Main Street instead.
Shortly after arriving at the gas station, the defendant found a red Ford Edge with the engine running. The defendant got into the car and drove off. The car had a four-year-old child in the backseat and once the child’s mother realized the car was gone, the authorities were alerted.
At 6:29 a.m., the Longmont Police Department dispatched an officer to the gas station and by 6:59 a.m., an AMBER alert was issued for the child.
Colorado State Patrol (CSP) found the defendant’s car on I-25 and began to follow him. Although his emergency lights or sirens were not on, the vehicle began to accelerate. The Ford Edge traveled at speeds around 100 MPH and utilized all lanes of traffic.
At 7:38 a.m., the Brighton Police Department began its assistance in the pursuit at I-76 and Bromley Lane. At 7:39 a.m., while on Bromley Lane, the defendant struck the front passenger side bumper of a 2011 tan Kia minivan and pulled in front of it. The defendant ran up to the driver, pulled her out of her seat by the legs and ankles and forced her out of the vehicle. A teenage passenger ran out of the minivan as the defendant took control of it. When law enforcement arrived, they found the four-year-old child along with the two victims of the Kia minivan.
The defendant continued the pursuit and drove westbound on I-76, narrowly missing cars and law enforcement. He eventually drove onto E-470 southbound while officers pursued with him with emergency lights and sirens.
At 8:02 a.m., Colorado State Trooper Bellaman Hee attempted to deploy stop sticks near the westbound exit of E-470 and Chambers Road. The defendant approached Trooper Hee at a very high speed and struck him. Trooper Hee landed in the field on the north side of the guardrail. The defendant drove off with visible smoke emitting from the front end of the vehicle. Trooper Hee sustained serious bodily injuries that included compound fractures to his tibia and fibula.
At 8:03 a.m., the defendant exited the westbound exit of E-470 and Peoria Street and struck a silver BMW with its front end directly over the front driver’s side tire. The defendant got out of the car to yell at the driver of the BMW, got back in his car, and drove southbound on Peoria Street.
Two minutes later, the defendant struck a black Nissan sedan on southbound Peoria Street. He rear-ended the black Nissan four times. The victim moved his car to the left and the defendant continued his route.
A few seconds later, the defendant approached westbound Belford Avenue and approached a silver Toyota sedan. He struck the front driver’s side of the silver Toyota. The defendant got out of his car, walked towards the driver of the silver Toyota and opened the driver’s side door. The defendant pulled the victim out of the car and threw her into the ground of the median. She immediately got up and tried to grab the suspect but the defendant drove away.
At 8:06 a.m., the defendant drove the silver Toyota towards Lincoln Avenue. A Douglas County Sheriff’s Office vehicle had their emergency lights on at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Peoria Street, next to a dark-colored truck. The defendant tried to drive between the two vehicles at the intersection but could not get through.
In an effort to get away, the defendant then hit another silver sedan and Mazda SUV that were on the westbound intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Peoria Avenue. The defendant got out of the vehicle, went to the driver’s side door of a Subaru Outback. The Subaru was blocked by a DCSO vehicle and was unable to drive further.
At 8:06:56 a.m., the defendant ran around the back of the Subaru Outback towards the intersection a shopping center in the northwest side of the intersection. As he ran around the facility, he turned a corner, slipped, fell on his back, got up and continued to run.
At 8:07 a.m., the defendant tried to jump over a 6-foot rod iron fence surrounding the Windsor at Meridian Apartments. When he was unable to jump over the fence, the suspect continued to run down the fence for about 50 feet. When DCSO deputies approached him, the suspect laid face down on the ground and gave up. He was placed into custody.
The entire incident was approximately 90 minutes, of which 50 were recorded on video by a news helicopter.
On April 29, 2015, a Douglas County jury convicted defendant Ryan Cole Stone (2014CR154 – Douglas) of 18 charges related to a car chase that started in Longmont and ended in Douglas County on the morning of March 13, 2014. The jury began deliberating the morning of April 28, 2015. The defendant was convicted on the following counts:
- One count of Attempted Manslaughter (F5)
- One count of First Degree Assault – Extreme Indifference (F3)
- One count of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Serious Bodily Injury (F4)
- Two counts of Robbery (F4)
- One count of Vehicular Eluding (F4)
- Three counts of Motor Vehicle Theft – $20,000 or Less (F4)
- One count of Criminal Mischief – $20,000 or More (F3)
- One count of Vehicular Assault – Reckless (F5)
- Two counts of Child Abuse – Knowingly/Reckless-No injury (M2)
- Five counts of Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Damage Only (T2)
The jury found the defendant guilty of a lesser included charge of the initial top count of Attempted First Degree Murder and found him guilty of Attempted Manslaughter. He was found not guilty of one count of Second Degree Kidnapping (F4) and one count of Attempted Robbery (F5).
The defendant had also been charged with four counts of Habitual Criminal sentence enhancements and one Violent Crime sentence enhancement. The court found the defendant to be a habitual criminal and on July 31, 2015.
Due to the severity of the crimes that occurred throughout multiple jurisdictions on the date of the incident, the 18th Judicial and 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Offices prosecuted this case. 18th Judicial Senior Chief Deputy Jason Siers, 18th Judicial Deputy District Attorney Laura Wilson and 20th Judicial Chief Trial Deputy Adrian VanNice represented the People in this matter.
18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler stated: “In jail, he bragged about mimicking a video game. On our roads, he put himself above the safety of everyone—men, women, and children. In beginning a 160 year sentence in prison, he is experiencing the part not shown on the video game. He has chosen to live a life of crime, having racked up five felony convictions before this latest crime spree. He is one of the reasons why prisons exist and why our state continues to support mandatory sentences to them for chronic offenders. Since I have taken office, this guy is the third Douglas County defendant to earn a triple-digit sentence to prison for endangering the lives of our law enforcement officers and community. While other places outside of Colorado seemingly struggle with how to value law enforcement, in Douglas County and the Eighteenth Judicial District, we will continue to vigorously fight to protect those who protect us.”
20th Judicial District Attorney Stan Garnett stated: “I am pleased that justice was achieved in this case and that Judge King imposed an appropriate sentence for this horrific crime spree. I was also pleased that my office was able to work so collaboratively with George Brauchler and the 18th JD DA’s office and that our Chief Trial Deputy Adrian VanNice was able to co-counsel this case. When Public Safety is at stake, the District Attorneys of Colorado will always join forces to achieve justice, as we did in this case.”
Twelve law enforcement agencies responded to assist on the day of the incident. They are as follows: Colorado State Patrol, Longmont Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Aurora Police Department, Boulder Police Department, Brighton Police Department, Broomfield Police Department, Commerce City Police Department, Denver Police Department, Lone Tree Police Department, and Parker Police Department.
Colorado State Patrol Chief Colonel Scott Hernandez stated: “The events of 18 months ago will never be forgotten. Today, however, we can now truly begin to move past them thanks to those that worked tirelessly to see that justice was served.”
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock stated: “I’m proud that with the cooperation of all involved law enforcement agencies we were able to take this dangerous criminal down after his metro wide crime spree. I’m thankful that by the grace of God, he did not injure more citizens or Officers. I want to express my gratitude to the media who broadcasted Stone’s location to help us locate and apprehend him, the hard work and persistence of the Investigators, as well as the District Attorney’s Office who brought him to justice.”
Longmont Police Department Commander Jeffrey M. Satur stated: “The Longmont Police Department would like to thank all the officers who risked their safety to help recover the abducted four-year-old child and apprehend Ryan Stone. We know this would not have been possible without the tremendous support of the helicopter news crew. Their continuous presence helped keep the suspect and child under a watchful eye. We also want to recognize the great work of the Prosecutors from the Douglas County and Boulder County District Attorney’s Office.”
The Honorable Paul King presided over this case.